Court Rules Law Firm Partners Can’t Sue Under Age Bias Law

Lewis Rice Successfully Represents Law Firm Client in Age Bias Case before the Eighth Circuit

Lewis Rice members Neal F. Perryman and Michael L. Jente successfully represented the law firm Armstrong Teasdale, in both the district court and on appeal, in a case brought by a former Armstrong Teasdale partner claiming age discrimination based on Armstrong Teasdale’s mandatory retirement policy applicable to equity partners. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri held that the former equity partner was not entitled to the protections of the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) and entered judgment in favor of Armstrong Teasdale. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals agreed, affirming that law firm equity partners are not considered “employees” under the ADEA and, as a result, are not entitled to the benefits afforded under the ADEA. Neal Perryman argued the matter in the Court of Appeals. Given the recent popularity of similar lawsuits around the country, the Eighth Circuit’s ruling carries nationally significant implications and guidance for other courts, law firms, and other partnerships.

To read more about the case, click under "Resources" below., ABA Journal, Bloomberg Law, LexBlog and Law 360 covered the case.

Neal focuses his law practice on labor and employment law, but he also regularly practices in the areas of ERISA litigation, complex commercial litigation, appellate practice, education law, and municipal law. Neal defends employers and management in personnel-related disputes before state and federal courts, arbitration panels, and administrative agencies. He regularly counsels clients on compliance with federal and state employment and labor-related issues, including union contract negotiations, and on best management and governance practices. 

Michael regularly represents clients in an array of commercial and civil litigation matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. He has successfully represented clients in complex litigation relating to health benefits disputes, employment disputes, breach of contract claims, products liability claims, compliance with various state and federal regulatory schemes, and disputes regarding the Illinois Property Tax Code.